Today is our grandson Jehiel’s birthday. He’s five. Right from the beginning, he was very curious and observant. You can almost see the little gears of his brain in motion as an interesting image enters through the portals of his eyes, or when he hears a verbal explanation of whatever it is that has his attention at the moment. As those little gears roll, he interprets what he’s seen or learned, and is quick to act accordingly.
Last week I was helping him with his Bible story and verse for AWANA. He was to learn Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my Shepherd”. In the workbook, there was a story about a sheep, with an allusion to heaven, along with Jesus’ words recorded in John 10:27-28: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” There was a cloud shape on the workbook page where he was to draw what he thinks heaven is like. After explaining the Good Shepherd – sheep – eternal life – heaven relationship to him (gears were grinding, I could almost see them…) Jehiel grabbed his marker and quickly outlined his hand on top of the too-small cloud, as he inquired: “Is heaven God’s hand?”
Taken aback, I replied: “Well, not really. But if we follow our Good Shepherd, Jesus, He keeps us safe inside His hand until we get to heaven.” He immediately added a little stick figure inside his hand drawing, which he identified as himself. That was his interpretation of heaven: he was safe inside of God’s big hand.
No, heaven isn’t really God’s hand. But Jesus made the illustration that He would protect us, watch over us and care for us till we get to heaven so simple that even a five-year-old can understand it! And this Grandma praised God again for the assurance we have that we are safe in His hand!